Friday, December 15, 2006

Caroling Memories

Caroling has always been one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season.
As a teen my youth groups visited retirement homes to carol and as a young wife I continued, along with my hubby, the tradition of caroling with our various church groups. Unfortunately caroling seems to have been sadly neglected...people are always surprised and pleased when they open their door to carolers...but for me...its a vital part of Christmas.
After I became the mother of 3 little ones, my holiday activity narrowed to basically just the kids and making their holiday bright...but as the children grew and as we took on more church ministry...it seemed right to get back out there at Christmas time and share the love with the rest of the world. One year, when the kids were little...maybe 5, 3, and an infant...we decided to take our little church family out caroling during the holiday season...I remember it was very cold for Alabama...we were walking through a neighborhood with a group of adults and my little ones along with a couple of other small children...at each door we stopped, sang one carol, said Merry Christmas and moved on...after a few stops the kids caught on to what we were doing...they started asking if they could sing...well of course they could join us...but no, that wasn’t what they wanted...my kids, being my kids...they wanted to do one by themselves..just them.
We thought about that for a minute....we remembered that they knew Away in a Manger quite well and had been singing it around the house...after stopping on the corner under a streetlight to practice a couple of times we decided to give it a try. At the first house...the kids, all 4 or 5 of them, ranging in ages from 3-7, stood in a circle with us adults huddling semi-circle around them…(we figured that we, the adults could help them out if they faltered)...as soon as the door opened, they looked to me for the ok and started singing...

Away in a manger
No crib for His head
The little Lord Jesus
Lay down His sweet head
The stars in the sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing
The baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes
I love thee, Lord Jesus
look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle
Til morning is nigh.


....in the frosty silence their childish voices rang out clear as bells.
and with the porch lights shining on their little blonde heads...I have to tell you...nothing has ever looked or sounded so much like angels...5 little ones...standing in a circle...singing Away in a Manger on a starry night. ....it was amazing...and in the stillness of a quiet Alabama street I could almost hear the angels softly joining in. The kids made it through about 3 more houses before all our fingers and toes began to go numb and we all voted to retire to warmth and hot chocolate. It was one of the sweetest experiences of Christmas I have ever known...

Be near me, Lord Jesus
I ask thee to stay
close by me forever
and love me I pray
Bless all the dear children
In thy tender care
and take us to heaven
to live with You there....


Amen....

14 comments:

Joni said...

Thank you for all the memories this brought back. One of the best is seeing the expressions of joy on the faces of the people at the nursing home, as our little girls' group from church heralded them with yet another noel.

It's a tradition that needs to come back into vogue!

Barb said...

There are very few Christmas songs that move me as much as Away In A Manger sung by little children. That song was made for the voices of children. Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

That just gave me chills...the good kind of chills. Carolers seem to be only a memory today, what a sad thing to have been pushed to the side. There is nothing more beautiful the little children singing about Jesus.
I'm now going to try to post this, so far I'm not having any luck, so if I can't, just want you to know it's me, Pat (BG)

T Texas Red said...

yep.. was bitterly cold that year... but we did have a wonderful time...I miss caroling with the church terribly... but I miss singing with you even more...


do you remember the year we went with the youth from "Faith", and went downtown Florence... we walked up and down the street and sang in some of the stores... what fun

Tammy said...

Amen!!
I wish people would do caroling almost more than trick or treating...I don't ever remember anyone coming to our house as a child but then we lived in the country...
:-D

Tammy said...

What an awesome memory....I can imagine the pride and love you had seeing those sweet children sing like that!

everydayRANDOM said...

Have been caroled one time and it was a treat. Even though I don't open my door to people I don't know - I would for carolers.
AIAM is my favorite song to hear kids sing. Great thoughts.

BekABoo said...

Wow, can you believe I have absolutly no recollection of that whatsoever ;) I have enjoyed the caroling I do remember!

Mrs. Mac said...

OK ... I have "Jesus" bumps after reading this cute post. Kids have a way of singing from the heart.

An Ordinary Christian said...

I think that you think in song. "Singing songs and hymns and making melody in your hearts to the Lord..."

Becky said...

beautiful

Anonymous said...

what a precious, precious memory...thank you for sharing it w/ us all! (kaymac)

Jessica said...

Caroling can be so fun! I remember whenever I used to carol with my childhood Church...we would go on hayrides and also we would go by the elderly's homes and also by rest homes and carol for those as well!

Ame said...

ohhhh ... how precious!